Use money to make money is a common yet factual phrase used in the business world. To many, money attracts more money. Big financial backing of a business accompanied by a sound business strategy is a common recipe for the establishment of successful businesses. However, some business is only making their maiden entry into a competitive business space and do not have the luxury of having a big budget to fund the day to day business operations while maintaining a persistent marketing campaign.
This drawback has always put small business at a disadvantage especially when they are trying to establish a business. Though, entrepreneurs do not have to shy from actualising their dreams anymore because of meagre resources and small budgets to market their services of speciality and the business as a whole. This article will spell out some low-cost marketing strategies to help your business gain more visibility whether or not you have funds set aside for marketing.
Undertake A Thorough Email Marketing Drive
Probably the cheapest and easiest marketing strategy on this list. Emails are the trendiest and most popular means businesses use to communicate among themselves and while using it to keep in touch with their customers.
Its popularity among businesses has been aided by its ability to send information in bulk to many people at a go without incurring any heavy financial burden. Marketing is characterised by huge budgets to ensure its success.
But this is not true any more thanks to inventions like email. Email has a far-reaching capability in the sense that it can reach any internet user wherever they are at any time you seek to reach them. Every individual that transact t their business on the internet knows it is a prerogative to have an email account and an email address to transact business effectively.
So as a business, it is essential to take advantage of the widespread use of email to reach leads and convert into loyal customers. Email platforms have real-time chat features that allow a business owner to constantly keep in touch with their customers regarding queries and making of sales. Hence, it helps foster strong relationships between a business and its customers.
To get started, you will require a professional to generate content to mail to your customers then you can choose the best free email marketing platform that fits your needs. There are several to choose from. They include Constant Contact, MailJet, Benchmark and MailChimp etc.
Recycle and Repurpose Your Material
Repurposing of your online content can be a very cost-effective way of marketing. You are using your existing content to update or create entirely new material for your customers and leads. This strategy seeks to exhaust all the marketing resources you have in place to create new content.
It saves the resources you could have deployed to create new content both the workforce and the costs associated with generating that content.
Several ways of refocusing your content to generate new material that serves the needs of your clients and potential clients exist. A few are listed below:
- Make your white papers and blogs more educative and informative by constantly apprising their contents with fresh research and information. The content can be reposted as new material. This move helps add gist to your existing blogs hence offer valuable insight into what your business is about.
- Use the data on your white papers and blogs to create infographics. Representing this information in a pictorial format assist in further drawing the attention of leads.
- Convert content from one medium to another. You can take an existing blog and transform it into a video or a podcast. This way you are maximising on the existing resources to attract more clients and increase your ROI.
Furthermore, apart from generating new content from old content, it is also possible to continue old white papers and blogs to complement your new content.
Engage with The Community
Meaningful relationships are the key ingredient for any successful business undertaking especially for SMEs with brick-and-mortar business establishment.
This close relationship only comes to fruition if the owner maintains an ever-present and active relationship with his or her business surrounding.
Knowing those in your community is not enough to warrant a healthy relationship between you and the community. It requires developing significant associations and partnerships that will assist your business growth for a long time.
Attending social events like in-person networking gatherings can be the easiest method of meeting and engaging with those working and living in the community. The in-person meeting helps foster strong bonds with the members of the community who are the majority of your customers.
The in-person networking meetings on many occasions are always meant to be platforms for locals, professionals and businesses to interact and share information about their businesses. Therefore, the gatherings become a perfect place for you as a business person to market services and products. It is very important not to forget to carry business cards with your contact information so that you are easily accessed by clients later on.
Corporate social responsibility is also a good way of connecting with the community while at the same time gaining positive visibility for your business within the community. CSR can take the form of volunteering at the nearest children’s home or donating food at a retirement home.
Post Engaging Blog Content
Blogs and blogging are the things these days. Their popularity has skyrocketed overnight with the ever-growing reach of the internet. Blogs are the platforms on which get information concerning anything they want.
They contain information on the collection of tips on something, industry best practices, FAQs, numbered lists etc. Hence, blogs are good avenues where you can create and market your services and products for free. The most important resource required in blogging is the time which is a limitless resource. If you are not adept in creating, editing and posting your content, you can recruit one or two people to assist you with the work.
Developing quality content that resonates with your audience helps your content rank high in SERPs. The high grading in SERPs helps you grow your visibility on SEO.
Over time, you will realise you have attracted very many leads, nurtured relationships and fostered trust with your clients that will help serve and your business for years.
It is essential to take advantage of social media platforms, emails and other modes of communication push your blog to many people at once. The use of many digital marketing platforms to market services and products gives you a wide pool of leads to convert to customers.
To be safe, it is very important to contract the services of a content marketing and blog writing agency to spearhead your marketing campaign. This option might be expensive, but it is a sure means of acquiring quality content and enhanced for search engines.
Request for Referrals
Your existing customers can be very good sources of marketing if you know how to go about it well. All you need to muster is the art of enticing your customers and knowing how to convince to change to loyal customers.
Your customers have more insights into your product more than even the content developer. Why is this? It is because for a customer to continuously buy your product, then there might be something they special they always find in your products and services.
Make it your priority to offer these kinds of customers some incentives so that they can refer friends and relatives who might have shown an interest in your products. Ensure to ask the referrer about the name and personal details of the referee. This information will help you personalise the message to suit the taste of the referee.
There are several ways you can boost customers’ involvement and grow referrals. They include:
- Give vouchers or other giveaways to customers who have the highest number of referrals.
- Award loyal customers with free services or products if they have reached a particular number of referrals.
- Give discounts to customers who have offered a particular number of referrals.
Once you start having a steady stream of referrals, the job is not done yet. You have to make sure you engage with the referrals on a personal level. It shows your level of seriousness and commitment.
Partner with Local Businesses
Small businesses with physical locations of doing business frequently have problems of financing and limited resources. Hence, if possible, it is advisable to partner with other local businesses to market your products and services. These kinds of partnerships can take the form of cross-promoting each other or undertaking a collaborative marketing campaign.
The collaborations are priceless to SMEs on a shoestring marketing budget.
Not all local businesses are viable to partner with. It is important to find those businesses that add value to what you are offering.
For example, if you are a confectionery company, you can partner with a mouthwash company. These two complement each other because the consumption of sweets and sugary products require cleaning your mouth with mouthwash.
The cross-partnering gives you an opportunity to access the other business’ customers and vice versa which gives both your businesses the opportunity to access each other’s customer lists.
Social media can be claimed to be the strongest marketing tool in the world right now. Its popularity has been aided by its far-reaching abilities and its cost-effectivity. Social media can be used to do almost everything in the digital world.
Social media is used to share files like video, image and infographics. Being free, it has become a common ground for generating visibility for your products and services.
If you have an online following, interact with them and share information about your products. There are those few that will show interest in your product. Single out this batch and engage with them on a personal level. Ask them about their experiences and give advice in case they are facing problems with the products they are using. Send them your useful material to help them in the buying process.
Maximise on your social media dealings by requesting for referrals from your social media followers. LinkedIn is a good place to start interacting with professionals who know people who need your services or products.
Take Part in Business Awards
Industries take it upon themselves to organise ward ceremonies to encourage the key players to offer quality goods and services. These awards are easy to apply once you meet the required qualification thresholds.
There are those awards that are offered on online platforms that any small business can apply while there are those offered within your location of the business. It is necessary to take part in these competitions because if you win, you get free marketing on the host organisation’s website. This move help expose your business to areas it had not reached.
You can win accolades, but it does not help you in the long run. That is why you need to know these ways below to help you use this opportunity to gain visibility for your business:
- Generate and circulate a digital presser declaring your success.
- Create blog post about your victory and how the award transformed your business.
- Post the presses on your social network platforms and site.
- Should the award come with a gong or a badge, make sure to include on your site.
The accolade enhances the credibility of your company which helps you foster trust among your clients.
As we had mentioned above, social media platforms are free, yet they can reach many people at once.
Therefore, using social media competitions to engage and encourage leads and convert them to customers is very effective. You only require a simple prize for the winner of the contest. However, as a business owner, you can use this to lure potential customers.
You can use submitting an email address to be an entry requirement — this email you can use to contact the contestant later and turn them to leads.
Before any joins the contest, it is paramount to furnish them with the terms and conditions of participating in the competition.
Guest blogging is creating your blog post and publishing it on a reputable website and attaching backlinks to it so that clients can trace the link back to your site. It gives you and your business the opportunity to reach people who may not know your products well.
It is always advisable, to begin with, news websites and industry publications that post material applicable to your target audience.
Guest blogging is governed differently every website. It is necessary to do due diligence to know what type of material you can publish, the length of the content and backlinks requirements.
You can accompany your content with a bio to help backlink to your website and to offer more information about your services and products.
The strategies mentioned in this article have one thing in common. They are all cheap. What is the essence of business if not to minimise on costs and maximise on profits? You only require to think past the conventional methods of marketing. There are several cheap digital marketing strategies. They range from email marketing campaign, social media contest, engaging with the local community. That is why you have to engage both the internal and external forces to have any hope of success of gaining more from less.